Weekly Rochester Events #367: Connecticut Becomes Fundamentally Ordered
Thursday, January 19, 2006
I've been meaning to write something about not being afraid of hypothetical things. That is, it's not so much about living without fear as it is about living without fear of that which hasn't happened yet.
See, as I get older, I start believing that the things I do already are "safe" and everything else isn't. Given a hypothetical situation, I think I know what might happen, but even with all the live experience I have, I'm consistently (and often dramatically) wrong about it. I forget that I'm still able to adapt to new things pretty easily, so it's always just a matter of trying.
When I'm confronted with a new situation, I can see right away the moment that I start making assumptions about what might happen — I think about the possibilities and fixate on what might be the worst thing to happen. Once I recognize that I'm making excuses, it's a matter of thwarting that. Probably the easiest thing is, when confronted with a new opportunity, think "yes" first and assess only cursory problems as opposed to saying "no" first and attempt to justify my answer.
Like, let's say you wanted to leave town and go visit Niagara Falls. If you start with a "no" response, it goes something like, "well, no, I can't spare the time. I might not be able to get to work on time." To counter, is it really that important? — I mean, could you afford to skip one day? "Well, probably, but I can't all the time." So, just don't do it all the time.
But what if your first thought was, "yes, let's go, but first let me check ..." Is there anything pressing at work going on? Do I have anything I promised people I'd do, and that's important enough that I don't want to cancel? Will this risk my job? Does it really matter?
Of course, this applies to really simple things too — like my quest for the best cheeseburger in town. [Or for a better way to segue into the activities of the week.]
On Thursday, I went out with a friend of mine to Restaurant 2 Vine (24 Winthrop St., behind the Little Theatre) to try out their hamburgers. I had high hopes, for not only had these particular hamburgers come recommended, but they're also $8, so they must be good, right?
Well, not really. Nothing seemed to be technically wrong with the preparation (for instance, the juices didn't appear to be squeezed out of them) except that my definition of "medium" is different from theirs — the burger I ate I would have referred to as "rare", reserving "medium" for one which was pink and fully cooked inside. Nonetheless, it was a pretty good burger, just not exceptional. The only analogy I can give is to that of sushi: mediocre burgers are to exceptional burgers are what rice and some raw fish is to sushi. Likewise, an exceptional burger — or any exceptional food for that matter — is a visceral juggernaut of pleasurable taste. This burger was not.
Throughout the week I've been talking with my friend Sondra about people's expectations of the behaviors of others. We've been trying to divine which requests from others are valid (i.e. "it threatens my safety") and invalid (i.e. "you are acting like a slut"). But from there, we considered what to do about people who reject us because of our independence — both of us automaticallly want to help them open the possibilities in their own lives, but it might be a better solution to treat it as an attack on our individuality.
This wasn't an issue on Friday morning when I hung out with a bunch of artists at Richard Harvey's studio. Afterward a group of us went to Feta Chinni (274 Goodman St. N., in Village Gate, formerly Mykonos) for some lunch ... it was pretty good and cheap too.
Anyway, someone brought up the notion of poor people treating rental property with disrespect — that it is more likely that poor people would leave a rented property in shambles but a wealthier person would not. Being among the people who would "respect someone else's property and leave it in a clean state," the thought crossed my mind, "why is that the right way?" I mean, from another perspective, it is just stuff — a rented property is just a pile of things that someone "owns". If they are unable to personally take care of every detail, what right do they have to assume that anyone else will also take care of it to the degree they would if they could?
Sondra and I also discussed about why people are threatened by someone who doesn't fit into a mold? Kind of like the landlord mentioned but in a more general sense — rather than fitting into the role of "the uncaringly destructive tenant", we were referring more to someone whose life can't be summed up in a 3-word sound-bite.
In some ways, it's related to people who believe in the lowest common denominator of individual behaviors. In that, I'm shifting focus to people who believe morality can be defined by the set of actions that every member of a society would entertain participating in — that is, whatever behaviors I would never ever participate are those outside morality. If I feel that I would never participate in gay sex, then gay sex must be immoral, or if I maintain my house to a certain minimum standard of cleanliness, then that must be the correct minimum standard.
Friday night I went to The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) to see La caduta degli dei (The Damned). It was long and wicked: a family running a valuable steel mill in Nazi Germany falls apart — partly due to the influences of nazism. And by "fall apart", I'm not just talking about arguments, but about pedophilia, incest, homosexual experimentation, transvestitism, and not staying a the table when you're supposed to.
However, I was a bit distracted by guy who sat way in the back going "woo woo" every time they showed naked mens butts — is he some flavor of Puritan for reinforcing that nudity is taboo, or am I for wanting him to shut the fuck up and let me watch the movie? Was something wrong with my being distracted about whatever else he might be doing, often concerned that I might get sprayed with ejaculate? (Which, by the way, did not happen.)
Anyway, Saturday night I went to A|V Art Sound Space (#8 in the Public Market, off N. Union St., formerly The All-Purpose Room) and got in just as Ed Downey and Ian Downey were finishing their last song, doing a sort of dueling cello/saxophone improvisation. Next, Tim Feeney, and Vic Rawlings played their noise-based set. Tim plays percussion in a non-standard way, typically getting things to ring at their resonant frequency and Vic plays sounds through his custom noise-pedal contraption. After they played, my friend Mary summed it up best when she said, "[she] felt like [she] just took a bath".
Sunday evening I decided to head out to The Little (240 East Ave.) to see The Dying Gaul. From the trailers, you might think it's about a guy trying to get his autobiographical script made into a movie without changing the central characters from a gay couple to a straight couple. That's really just the setup — as it progresses and people lie to one another more and more, and generally fail to communicate, things spin further and further out of control until it just crashes right into the end of the movie.
To finish things up, my own view of morality versus individuality is based in part on Abraham Maslow's "hierarchy of human needs." I figure people are entitled to pursue their goals in any way they see fit with the caveat that others are trying to do the same. Any conflicts between people are to be resolved on an individual basis. Rather than starting from any person believing they're the authoritative source for morality, I feel it should be measured in the widest possible way. Rather than focusing on what behaviors are acceptable to everyone, look at what behaviors are acceptable to nobody: if everyone can agree it is immoral then it probably is.
| Last Week |
| Read Guestbook
| Sign Guestbook
| Contact Jayce
Internet Movie Database
On this day ... January 19
DreamHost Web Hosting
I use DreamHost to run JayceLand.com. Click the ad to buy hosting and I'll get money to run my site. Hooray!
Store at CafePress
Buy some JayceLand junk at sky high prices!
Rochester Music Coalition
Rochester Music Photos
Rochester Goes Out (D&C)
Rochester Punk Rock
Jazz 90.1 Calendar
Delusions of Adequacy
Mystery and Misery
Kids Out and About
Movie links courtesy The Internet Movie Database. Map links courtesy Google Maps — sorry to those people with browsers not supported.
About the title ... 367 years ago in 1639, the colony of Connecticut adopted a constitution called The Fundamental Orders.
This page is Jason Olshefsky's list of things to do in Rochester, NY and the surrounding region (including Monroe County and occasionally the Western New York region.) It is updated every week with daily listings for entertainment, activities, performances, movies, music, bands, comedy, improv, poetry, storytelling, theater, plays, and generally fun things to do.
The musical styles listed can include punk, emo, ska, swing, rock, rock-and-roll, alternative, metal, jazz, blues, noise band, experimental music, folk, acoustic, and "world-beat."
Events listed take place during the day, in the evenings, or as part of the city's nightlife as listed.
Although I'm reluctant to admit it, it is a Rochester blog and I'm essentially blogging about Rochester events.
Oh, and it's spelled JayceLand with no space and a capital L, not Jayce Land, Jaycee Land, Jace Land, Jase Land, Joyce Land, Jayce World, Jayceeland, Jaceland, Jaseland, Joyceland, Jayceworld, Jayceeworld, Jaceworld, Jaseworld, nor Joyceworld. (Now if you misspell it in some search engine, you at least get a shot at finding it.)
While I'm on the topic of keywords for search engines, this update includes information for Thursday, January 19, 2006 (Thu, Jan 19, 2006, 1/19/2006, or 1/19/06) Friday, January 20, 2006 (Fri, Jan 20, 2006, 1/20/2006, or 1/20/06) Saturday, January 21, 2006 (Sat, Jan 21, 2006, 1/21/2006, or 1/21/06) Sunday, January 22, 2006 (Sun, Jan 22, 2006, 1/22/2006, or 1/22/06) Monday, January 23, 2006 (Mon, Jan 23, 2006, 1/23/2006, or 1/23/06)
Tuesday, January 24, 2006 (Tue, Jan 24, 2006, 1/24/2006, or 1/24/06) and Wednesday, January 25, 2006 (Wed, Jan 25, 2006, 1/25/2006, or 1/25/06).
Send a message to the JayceLand webmaster
Copyright © 2006 Jason Olshefsky. All rights reserved.